Michael Almond Portfolio

 

Noel's dSLR Tools (Action)

URL: ncarboni.home.att.net/PhotoshopActionsForSale.html
Cost: $10
Platforms: Mac & PC
Version Tested: 1.1
Demo available: No

This a collection of 11 actions, not just limited to noise reduction:

  • ColorBlotchReduction - Smoothes out color noise
  • MildNoiseReduction - Mild shadow noise reduction
  • MoreNoiseReduction - Medium shadow noise reduction
  • MostNoiseReduction - Maximum shadow noise reduction
  • ExposurePlus1 - One stop exposure increase with noise reduction
  • ExposurePlus2 - Two stop exposure increase with noise reduction
  • ExposureMinus1 - One stop exposure decrease
  • ShadowsPlus1 - Lightens shadows
  • ShadowsPlus2 - Lightens deep shadows
  • 10DGreenCastOut - Removes the Canon 10D green cast
  • IncandescentCastOut - Remove yellow/orange color cast from an incandescent light shot

ColorBlotchReduction nicely removed the chroma noise. The mild strength noise reduction was not enough, I had to step up to middle strength one, which removed a little too much detail at the tip of the rock.

Settings:

  • ColorBlotchReduction followed by MoreNoiseReduction

Even using the maximum noise reduction action, the sharpness of the transitions between the different tones was kept, while the rest of the image was nicely smoothed. Good job.

Settings:

  • ColorBlotchReduction followed by MostNoiseReduction

dSLR Tools struggled a little with this one. To remove the noise in the sky I had to use the MoreNoiseReduction, but it also removed quite a bit of detail in the shadows.

Settings:

  • ColorBlotchReduction followed by MoreNoiseReduction

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money, less than $1 per action!
  • Does a very good job of removing noise while keeping detail (except in the shadows)
  • Unlike most actions, these work perfectly on multi-layer images, limiting their effect to the (entire) layer currently selected at the time of operation.
  • Does not over do it, no plastic looking results here!

Cons:

  • Tends to muddy the details in the shadows a little.

 


iMAGING Concepts UltraISO (Action)

URL: feharmat@hotmail.com
Cost: ???
Platforms: Mac & PC
Version Tested: 1.9c
Demo available: No

UltraISO is a set of 14 actions that is custom designed for the Olympus E-10, but it works just as well on other cameras as well. It consists of a separate action for three ISO speeds (80, 160, 320), each with five filtering levels (except ISO 80, which only has four) based on exposure conditions (day light, medium light, low light and dark). For this test I disabled the sharpening stage of the actions.

More information, examples and comments that can be found in the Oly SLR Forum, hosted at www.dpreview.com.

UltraISO did an excellent job here. I first tried the "80-DAY Light" action, but it left a little too much chroma noise. Moving up to the "80-MID Light" action took care of the chroma noise, while leaving detail practically untouched.

Settings:

  • 80-MID Light

Good results here.

Settings:

  • 80-LOW Light

This image was a challenge for UltraISO. It was a tricky balance between noise reduction and sharpness. 80-MID ended up making this one just a little too blurry, so I settled for 80-DAY and a little luminance noise.

Settings:

  • 80-DAY Light

Pros:

  • Good range of options, I like the unique way the actions are based on the exposure.
  • Generally does a very good job of removing luminance noise but still keeping detail.
  • Very good job on chroma noise.

Cons:

  • These actions go through a lot of steps, so they take a long time

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